Monday, February 4, 2013

I have not posted anything for a long while on this Blog.  My Quest is not over, I had to take a break.  I had some health problems coming from a 16 hour ride in 37 degree F weather, where I ended up in the hospital, severely dehydrated, heart palpitations and lots of other fun stuff.  I took last year off,  and now I am starting to train again from scratch.

I want to say that I love using power to train.  Thank you USA Cycling, I took a course in San Diego on training with power, and this has changed my approach to training so much.

Now that I am fat (not even for a cyclist, but fat for a normal person, if you know what I mean), I have to lose weight and get back into inhuman shape.  Going forward, if I could get someone to video tape me, I will going showing you some of my work out, weights, training on the bike, stretching and all the other fun stuff.

I have also moved to Vancouver, so dragging this fat a$$ up and down the mountains will be fun.  However, I always say, if you tiny little cyclists can hold me on the mountains, when it flattens out, there will be 400watts of pure big ring to digest.  And I can (well used to be able to) hold that for a while.  Of course that was a couple of years ago.

This year I turn 50, and my goal is to be, lean, mean, fit, strong, and determined not to wear diapers for another 30 years at least.  :)

I start my training next Monday, February 11th.  I always think that a Monday is a good day to start.  Why not today, well because I am a wimp and I don't have a training plan done yet.

My first goal, is to lose weight, and to be able to walk after my first workout. My brain thinks that I am a super athlete, but my body will know different, so I have to take it easy.

So everyone thinks that Lance is a cheater, well he is, but I think that sometimes people believe that if you take EPO then you will be Lance.  NOT!  He worked like a dog, trained very, very, very hard.  I remember Lance battling it out with El Pirate (Pantoni) in the mountains (and we know that Marco took Edgar Allen Poe with his coffee in the morning), and Lance finally kicked his a$$.  That was when I knew that we had a little help.  :)

God night, and I will be back to let you know that the quest has begun again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spain! Tiki-Taka! The best riding!

I did my first ride in Spain, starting from the village of Urracal, where we have a little house.  So the decent from the village I averaged 55km/hr, no pedalling, just so you understand the grade.  I decided on the first day just to try my legs out with a 52km ride.  Just gorgeous roads, 40 degrees C, with cool winds.

After that descent, I started climbing about 1,000m of gain, so the highest little hill was about 800m.  Then downhill again, it was great!  Little pain in the back but wonderful.

So again, I ask my wife to plot me a route.  Great!  Over the Sierras!  So the day started with 3 hours of climbing, never ending, leg aching climbing.  It was great!  I finally hit the summit at 1246 meters, not like a big climb of the Tour de France, but I still think a category 1 climb.

So after all day of climbing, there is the mind numbing, descent of 80km/hr that goes on for 30 minutes.  I got good practice of cornering at high speed.  But as you know, my life never goes easy.  Half way down the mountain, I feel this sharp pain in my abdomen, burning searing!!!  A wasp flew down my clothes and stung me.   I don't have disc brakes so it is not easy to stop quickly at 80km/hr.  But after the third sting, I had to grab a fistful of brakes!!

The guy was right there in my bib, just stinging away!!  Being Buddhist, I could not bring myself to kill it, it was just being true to its nature.  So I flicked it out of my clothes and started down the hill.  WOW!

My legs still ache after that delicious climb.  I leave Spain on Sunday, so I hope to get one last ride in before I return to Canada.

I should post some pictures later.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

In Spain At Last

So I am in Spain ready to ride.  Of course the first day, flat tire, and guess what, I have a mountain bike tube in my pack.  WOW!!  Fun!

I have this great hand pump, it is the best I have ever seen, I could pump my tires to an amazing 120 with this baby!!

It is wonderfully hot and dry, here, ideal riding weather. I have been ill for the past couple of weeks, put on some weight, I can't believe how fast is comes on.  So I have a couple months to loose it again, and get back in shape.

The Tour De France in on which is very satisfying.  I think David Millar is going to surprise some people this year.  Thor the GOD of Thunder will be at it again.  I was very happy to see "Ale Jet" Pentacci win today.  He is one of my favourite sprinters.

Well, I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Unleash The Beast!!

I guess I am not going to do hill repeats any more.  Because my rides have more hills than hill the hill repeat sets.  My wife set a wonderful route for me again, it took about 7 hours 30 minutes with over 3 hours 15 minutes of climbing.   After about 4 hours of this nonsense, I decided to unleash the beast!!  So I opened the cage, and the beast was cowering in there and would not come out.  ;0) (Francesco, I am sorry I could not unleash the beast!)

Whimpering, the beast closed the door and went back to sleep, so I was left on my own to complete the ride.  Another cold and windy day; the sheep were huddled together, looking at me crawl by at a mere 20km/hr, bleating and calling me a craaaaazzzzyyyy man! :0)

I decided to phone my friend Mike, if anything could get me through this would be a cheese and onion sandwich (my secret fuel that gives me about 1 hour of power) and Mike.  Well, I could not get ahold of Mike.  So here we are, no Mike, cold, windy, hilly, chipped asphalt roads, and a lot of riding left, the beast cowering in his cage.  

This is what ultra-endurance rides are about, training the brain to be tough and strong!  Jure in this years RAAM was riding through thunder, lightening and rain.  He never complains and has an amazing positive attitude.  I think he will win again this year, he is trying to do it in under 8 days!!! 3,000 miles in under 8 days, do the math!

PROPS to Tony O'Keefffee, he is from Ontario, Canada and is now 4th in RAAM and I think that he will maybe be third!!  What an awesome ride!  I am really inspired now!

I vow that from now on, I will not complain, I will be a man and "do the right ting"!!

Ok, last thing, have you ever rode down hill (knowing that you have to ride up again) and seeing at least 3 guys on mountain bikes stopped halfway, rubbing their thighs, head in hands, shaking their heads?  WELCOME TO PEMBROKSHIRE!!  :0)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Intensity Phase (this really hurts)!

Well since my last entry, I have gone back to the drawing board and re-planned my whole training plan.  I think that I have one that will work and get me to my goal.  One thing I added is more technique work.  I believe strongly that efficiency is very important.  Economy is crucial when you riding for a long time, saving a little bit each pedal stroke makes a huge difference.

I am also thinking of getting a coach,  it is getting harder and harder to coach myself.  I am sleeping lots, and my legs are twitchy all night, they just want to pedal!  It is getting bad, I miss my bike, it seems like an old friend, I am starting to have breakfast on the trainer while pedalling.

So this week these are my workouts:

Strength (3 times/week):

  • 2x25 Seated Squats
  • 2x25 Deadlifts With Pushups
  • 2x25 Single Leg Press
  • 2x25 Dumbbell Rows
  • 2x25 Stability Ball Dumbbell Pullover
  • 2x25 Dumbbell Curls
  • 2x25 Triceps Press downs
Technique (2 times/week):
  • 6x2min Single Leg Pedal (very slow, focus on maintaining contact with pedals)
  • 5x1min Spin-up 140+rpm
  • 40km ride with 10x10min @AT (ri=10min)
  • 40km ride with 10x1km 12% hill repeats
  • 83km tempo ride
  • 163km ride at race pace (28km/hr)
So tomorrow I do the hill repeats, it is going to be real nice.  I finally got my video recording working so I will do some filming and post it up.

RAAM is starting now and it is so exciting! Will Jure win this year or will Gehard hurt him. It has been great for me, with all the cycling, World Cup Soccer & Tour Du France coming up!!!

I will tell you how my hill repeats go!!  Never give up goals guys, keep working smarter, harder, and consistently.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Climbing: Improving Somehow

Today, I went for a 4:00 hour ride, again working only on climbing.  The 16% grade that I normally climb was suddenly easier.  I was not climbing anymore in my lowest gear, and my CAD increased from 12rpm to abut 40rpm!  I am not sure if I am losing weight or getting stronger or both.  To get this picture, I had to do almost one hour of climbing.

However, I am noticing that I am sucking more on the flats.  Mind you, the friction on the roads are so intense, that if I stop pedalling down-hill, I start slowing down, so I have to keep pedalling all the way through.

I tried some new fuel today, and now I have lots of gas, I am typing this blog, outside now, because I have been thrown out of the house.  I tried lighting a match but it would go out right away.  :0)  I bought a lot of this stuff, so I am not sure what I am going to do.

Those hills that you see on the right there, are the Preseli Hills or Preseli Mountains, the fabled stones from Stonehenge come from these hills.  No one knows how such large blocks of stone were quarried and transported so far away.

Now there are loads of cattle and sheep in these hills, so they have these things in the road that keep the cattle at bay.  There are grills that will catch anything with hooves or small bike tires.  :0)  I was a wuss and walked over these in the road, I can't afford to get injured now anyways.
In my next few posts, I will get some pictures of these amazing structures.
I will be off to Spain for a week in July, just before I get back.  And that will conclude my strength prep.  After that is speed, speed and more speed!  Lots of Intervals!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hills and Headwinds!

So for the next 4 weeks I am working on strength, therefore I am riding lots of hills.  Now my back is starting to hurt a bit and my legs are sore to the touch.  But my weight is dropping, and the climbing is just a little bit easier.

For those of you who did not believe me, the picture to the left is very common place in Pembrokshire where I am riding.  I can't wait for June, when I hit Spain for the real climbing (OMG my aching legs).  Today was cold and windy, I thought that I felt cold winds in Canada, but there is nothing like a cold north wind off the ocean right into your teeth.  As days would have it, climbing a 16% grade with a cold headwind is not fun, especially at 235lb and a power to weight ratio of 0.78!  Which means that I climb the hill in 39x27 with a CAD of 12rpm.  Yes it is possible to pedal that slow.

All my work today was rewarded with some beautiful scenery of the Southern Wales coastline.   Overall, it was a great strength day, and I feel like I am getting stronger and stronger.  As my weight drops, I will just get faster and faster.  I had a wonderful accident today with my handle bars coming loose as I was screaming down a hill at 60 km/hour, my chin was inches away from the stem.  The roads are so rough here because they use chipped asphalt so that the car tires still have a lot of grip when it rains, and boy does it
rain a lot here!!!  The road sucks up lots of energy in your legs because of the increased resistance, and I think all the bouncing loosen the screws.  Now I check everything before I leave the house.

It is starting to get colder and colder so I think I will do some interval training on the trainer.

I have to hit the gym and still keep working on strength as my weight drops.